Not real news to folks who have studied the culture of the Vatican, but it will be interesting to see what the rest of the non-Catholic world takes away from this.
The article does tend to approach things from a secular and modernist perspective, but I suppose that is to be expected.
Having said that, several commentators have discussed that one of Pope Benedict’s major initiatives was the reform of the curia itself, in addition to the reform of the reform, etc. that tends to get noticed by us in the laity. Frankly, I don’t think any one pope could hope to accomplish that in 8 years. The bureaucracy is so entrenched that it will take a succession of two or three popes with similar goals to get that one accomplished.
It also serves to highlight one of the major reasons, I suspect, why the Holy Father is resigning. If he no longer feels he has the strength for the position, he does not wish to see things getting turned over to the very curia he is fighting to change. That would only serve to blunt his initiatives and cement the dysfunction even further.
A younger, stronger pope can come in and will have the strength to deal with the problems that exist. Plus, they will have the resource of Pope Benedict to turn to when they have questions about who they can trust, who will be supportive, who is problematic etc. That should serve the next Holy Father to great advantage if he decides to make sure of that knowledge and experience.
This is a damn shame. Its looking more and more that the pope didn’t resign cuz he’s sick but instead is resigning becaus he doesn’t have strength to battle the monolith that is the catholic church bureacracy. Its gonna take time but it needs to start happening.
Pope Benedict also took a nasty fall which left a gash in his head and he lost some blood. [Apparently, while on a trip, he tripped over a piece of furniture.]
When you add up all the demands on his energy to the physical issues [he’s 86, after all], it is reasonable that he might decide to retire to allow someone with higher energy to carry on the task.
I think it certainly factored into his reasoning, but probably does not tell the whole story. His general health and reported inability to tolerate long flights means that if he stayed in his office, he would not be able to travel to events such as World Youth Day, etc. The Pontificate of Blessed John Paul II changed the nature of the Papal Office such that one must be able to travel long distances to be seen in public.
I am going to miss our Holy Father a great deal and wish this was not happening.
I think that the biggest thing the article showed is that the men running the Church are like any other men.
I think it’s time the Italian stranglehold on the Church is broken.
I would read anything from WAPO with a grain of salt and the Church has gotten through 2000 years, the great amount of time in the Vatican. I would not call that a stranglehold.
Though I don’t want to speak prematurely, it would be nice to see some pro-Catholic analyze the article, even Brent Bozell’s Newsbusters because so far, NY Times and Washington Post are known for printing articles not known to be positive towards the Church.
I fear it may be worse than just rivalry. Pope Benedict may be in deep trouble. I found this on another site:
Posted on February 14, 2013 by itccs
International Tribunal calls on Napolitano to “not collude in criminality”, and announces global campaign to occupy Vatican property and launch human rights inquiry in Italy
Rome (9 am local time):
Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, has scheduled a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano for Saturday, February 23 to discuss securing protection and immunity from prosecution from the Italian government, according to Italian media sources.
Ratzinger’s meeting follows upon the apparent receipt by the Vatican of a diplomatic note from an undisclosed European government on February 4, stating its intention to issue an arrest warrant for Ratzinger, who resigned from his pontificate less than a week later.
In response to the February 23 meeting, the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), through its field Secretary, Rev. Kevin Annett, has written to President Napolitano, asking him to refrain from assisting Ratzinger in evading justice.
The ITCCS letter states, in part,
“I need not remind you, Mr. President, that under international law and treaties that have been ratified by Italy, you and your government are forbidden from granting such protection to those like Joseph Ratzinger who have aided and abetted criminal actions, such as ordering Bishops and Cardinals in America and elsewhere to protect known child rapists among their clergy.
“Your obligation to the Vatican through the Lateran Treaty does not negate or nullify the requirements of these higher moral and international laws; nor does it require that you give any protection or immunity to a single individual like Joseph Ratzinger, especially after he has left his papal office.”
A copy of the complete text of the ITCCS letter follows.
In response to the documented crimes of child torture, trafficking and genocide linked to Pope Benedict and Vatican officials, the ITCCS will be sponsoring a series of ongoing protests and occupations of Roman Catholic churches and offices through its affiliates around the world beginning in Easter week, March 24-31, 2013, and continuing indefinitely.
These actions will accompany the legal efforts to bring Joseph Ratzinger and other Vatican officials to trial for their proven complicity in crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy.
The Easter Reclamation Campaign will seize church property and assets to prevent their use by child raping priests, who are protected under Catholic canon law. Citizens have this right to defend their communities and children when the authorities refuse to do so, under international law.
Rev. Kevin Annett and an official delegation from the ITCCS Central Office will also be convening a formal human rights inquiry in Rome commencing the week of May 13, 2013, to consider further charges against the Vatican and its new Pope for crimes against humanity and obstruction of justice.
Rev. Annett and his delegation will be working with organizations across Italy in this investigation. In 2009 and 2010, he held rallies outside the Vatican and met with media and human rights groups across Italy to charge the Vatican with the death of more than 50,000 aboriginal children in Canada.
Wake me if there is any news. Of course there are conflicts. We usually conflict the most with those who are closest to us. I would even say that conflict is vital to the process of running the Church, as that is the best way to refine thought, even if it gets a little heated at time.
I bet you won’t be reading any of the positive, complimentary, run-of-the-mill notes in the press.
Aboriginal Children in Canada? Really? For all we know, ITCCS could be aligned with George Soros, anti-Catholic causes. Rev. Kevin Annet, a former minister with the United Church of Canada. Oh.
Do have a news site for this slander and gossip other than a self-appointed Facebook committee with 33 likes? I bet Jack Chick has more.
A cool title does not a court make.
You found this on another site and it happens to mainly come out of Vancouver BC it appears.
Daily Telegraph takes on Conspiracy Theories in a realistic and respectful way:
Perhaps it was the sight of his long-time boss struggling and eventually dying in public that convinced Benedict such a course wasn’t for him. He will have seen what we didn’t – those same turbulent cardinals jockeying for position around the Polish pontiff and, reportedly, blocking the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s efforts to start getting to grips with the paedophile priest scandal.
Recent history is full of “lame duck” popes. Paul VI spent his last years in the mid-1970s locked away from view while the crew took charge of the ship of state. And in the case of Pius XII, the wartime pope, his household, headed by the formidable Sister Pascalina, ran the Church. She was, Benedict once remarked of his compatriot, “the most powerful Bavarian ever in the Vatican”.
He was being too modest. If there were ever any doubt that he has claimed that particular crown, the events of this week have nailed them. By resigning Benedict has ensured his own place in history – but not in the annals of infamy.
The “International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State” sounds pretty intimidating, and one has a mental image of offices at the Hague issuing writs and holding hearings, but apparently it’s one guy in Canada and a computer, the “Reverend” Kevin Annett. He’s good at getting his claims into Internet search engines, and posts a lot of self-interviews on YouTube, but no one takes him seriously. He’s just another anti-Catholic goofball.
Here’s something he posted on his website last September:
As John Deegan and the ITCCS said this week to Damian O’Reilly and his church bosses, the Vatican must do two simple things if it wants to avoid ongoing occupations: defrock all present and future child raping priests, and those who protect them; and make every clergy and church officer, from Pope Benedict on down, take a public, binding oath to protect children from predators and expose those who harm the innocent, even if doing so contradicts and defies church laws and customs.
If the hierarchy equivocates on this requirement of humanity and the law, or says no, then direct actions against the Vatican and its churches will commence in one week.
In this event, our Common Law Court will publicly convene in seven countries on September 15, to publicly share and judge extensive evidence of criminal actions by church and state. The following day, in the midst of Catholic masses around the world, a Public Banishment Order will be issued, binding on every catholic establishment. Church occupations will then follow.
The Banishment Order will, in effect, expel the Catholic Church from our communities and declare their churches and other property open to all people for their own use, like the homeless. Church officials will then be illegally trespassing and subject to arrest. (Kevin D. Annett, ITCCS, Issues Vatican With “One Week” Ultimatum)
As best as I can tell, none of the above actually happened, except possibly in the mind of the “Reverend” Annett, a man who, based on news reports, is a defrocked United Church pastor (the UC’s reasons for defrocking him apparently included his refusal to undergo a psychiatric exam, as the UC says here: bc.united-church.ca/content/formal-hearing-panel-decision) who has (to put it politely) some “issues” with the Catholic Church, among others. According to news reports, he has claimed responsibility for making the Pope resign, according to one news report claimed to have created a tornado that hit the Vatican while conducting an exorcism, and has tried to enlist a number of groups, including the Mohawk Nation and Occupy Toronto, in his causes, taking some actions which left a lot of Native Americans ticked off at him, such as his unsupported claim that unidentified bones at a UC church school in Canada were those of murdered children:
This blog has links to some of the stories and videos on Annett.
So, Christine77, I wouldn’t worry. I doubt the Vatican is even aware of this guy.
For the most part news isn’t positive. If it makes the news its because something, usually bad, happened. It doesn’t make wapo or the nyt anti-catholic. People should stop acting like the media is anti-catholic or try to pretend that catholicism is being attacked and begin thinking that the problem lies in what the church is doing and not so much in some made up agenda by the media.
i read the whole article and apart from spending too much for a christmas nativity scene i don’t see what conflict they are talking about.
what i did see was the media being kinda pushy, wanting to report the trial of the butler against the butlers wishes, wanting transparency, wanting opinions and soundbites even from the pope via creating a twitter account for him.
It is not an act. It is an observation. The Catholic Church has many problems, but not the ones we read of in secular print.
This morning, MSNBC did a story on the Pope, and they defended him. The host spoke about Benedict wanting to accomplish a housecleaning, but that he was thwarted in many ways.
Its an incorrect observation. Reporters report. What they reported in that article is accurate based on the information they have. Who cares that its secular? You mean you only believe info you are fed from the Church?
Exactly. It drives me nuts when Catholics in this country whine and bellyache about how the media is unfair. The media for the most part is not unfair. They just don’t hold the same reverence for the church as catholics have. So they will ask questions or pose questions that may sound offensive but in reality are good journalistic questions. There is a difference between a talk show that may be unfair in many areas and the media that is just reporting news.